Weekender sneak peek

>> Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Well it's not really a peek as such since the outside is finished. I still have the lining to do, and I'm planning on adding some pockets in there. I made a lining from the dark pink but I thought it was a bit too strong a colour so I've decided to switch to a light pink lining.

Tips in case you want to make one yourself
Timtex vs. Buckram
As you can see from the picture, the bag is the right shape and it stands up like that without anything inside. So it looks like the buckram works fine as a substitution for Timtex. I don't know exactly what Timtex is like, but it's probably more difficult to work with than the buckram. There were comments in the pattern such as "the Timtex may be difficult to fold" etc. and the buckram was fine. Also I didn't break any needles and I even forgot to switch to the heavy jeans needle before I started. Of course I slowed down a bit when going over the part where the cording comes out into the seams - where it was quite thick - but overall it just wasn't that difficult.


  • In case you want to make it yourself, I'll mention that I used much less fabric than the pattern called for. I do tend to snug up the pattern pieces so as not to waste fabric because there's really no reason to have gaps between the pieces you cut out.
  • I used two spools of thread and that included a reasonable amount of ripping out and resewing.
  • It was fine to use fusable interfacing whereas the pattern calls for non-fusable. For the bottom of the bag you insert an extra layer of Timtex (or in my case buckram) between the interfacing and outer fabric. So at that point you don't fuse the interfacing so as to leave a gap to insert the piece of Timtex. But after it was all assembled I put an iron inside the bag (which is quite roomy) and ironed the bottom to fuse the interfacing.
  • For the zipper of course you can use a separating zipper (instead of non-separating which can be hard to find) and just stitch over the end part.
  • For the cording it tells you to join up all the strips of fabric to cover your cording. But you only need four separate pieces of cording: one strip to go around each face of the bag and two smaller strips to trim the large pockets. So you don't really need to make one long piece of cording. As I mentioned before I used boot laces that were nice and round and 1/4"
This is a great pattern. I learned a lot while making it - such as the proper way to sew in a zipper and get those little flaps that cover it. As long as you take your time and just think about one step at a time it's not that difficult - I found the instructions and diagrams to be quite clear. Probably you should have some sewing experience. And finally it's bigger than I expected but we measured and checked the airline specs and it's just under the maximum size for carry-on luggage. Which is what I wanted it for. Overall I think mine is cute but not as nice as my birdy inspiration so I've been musing about making another one sometime...


Robin July 25, 2006  

Your weekender bag looks beautiful. Thanks for the tips and hints as well.

Lilli in Vancouver July 25, 2006  

You made this? I'm SO Impressed!

Olugbemisola (Mrs.Pilkington) July 25, 2006  

it looks great! i've been wanting to try that one ever since i saw it on eliphantom knits, but i didn't think i had it in me. i haven't done so well with amy butler bags...but i may give it a try. thanks for the tips!

Rachel July 25, 2006  

Your bag looks wonderful! Thanks for the tips.

Belinda July 26, 2006  

The bag looks great claire, I must gather the supplies together to have a go. I've had the pattern sitting around for a while now.

Anonymous,  July 26, 2006  

I think you're being too hard on yourself. It looks great!

Anonymous,  July 26, 2006  

Claire - glad it turned out to be not-so-hard to make. And the bootlace cording is a great tip.

Junie Moon July 26, 2006  

I was so inspired by your weekenders bag that I've ordered the pattern. In the meantime, I zoomed out yesterday and bought Amy Butler's Chelsea tote pattern and two of her fabrics and today I made the large Chelsea tote. I don't have a blog or I'd post a picture. Just wanted you to know that I really got excited about your Amy Butler project--so, thank you!

Claire Louise Milne July 26, 2006  

Thanks for the comments everyone! I'm glad I inspired. The second one is even easier...

Anonymous,  July 27, 2006  

Love the bag! you did a great job. I would really love to make one, too, but i am a beginner so i don't want to be too ambitious! were did you buy the pattern? online? what is your favourite sewing/fabric store (i live in toronto, too)? thanks!

Claire Louise Milne July 27, 2006  

You can buy the pattern online from reprodepot.com or even ebay. I actually shop a lot from Fabricland because it's well organized and you can find all the extras like snaps, zippers and stuffing there too. Otherwise I shop on Queen St. west of Spadina and just browse all the fabric stores. They each specialize in different things so it depends what you're looking for. And finally I shop online too and the links to my favourite fabric stores are on my sidebar.

Samantha July 28, 2006  

Thanks for the tips. I have this pattern too - in the hope of making it sometime!

Good job on yours

molly | mommycoddle.com July 28, 2006  

I love that bag. so perfect for a little weekend excursion.
(I wanted to pass on to you that I haven't gotten my needlebook yet. I was just worried it got lost and thought you should know....mail is so frustrating some times, isn't it?!)

Anonymous,  July 28, 2006  

Claire, this looks so great! I am going to pull mine out and make it, you've inspired me, especially with all your useful tips. Armed with those, I feel like I could actually do a good job (and we're going on a trip soon, so I'll need it). Thanks for the inspiration.

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